Official Blog- Tales From The Hall


Qwertyuiop

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New blog post by ED:
Blog said:
Tales from the Hall

Wow, what a lot of work! But so far no bigger problems, but lots of positive reports, really assuring us :)
I've been helping out here for the 2,5 days already, and we're managing it quite good.
Speed is improving, we don't make too many mistakes we need to fix and based on the feedback from the first users, we optimize the building process.

At least 60 units should have reached the customers so far and there were only a few problems.
A dead battery, a dead PSU (which can happen, unfortunately), one broken WiFi and a broken backlight.
For the very first units, that's a good quote - basically only one two broken ones.

As some guys were asking about quality checking - here's what we did for the first units:

1. The boards including all the hardware are being tested in Texas after population.
2. After we assemble them, we have a special bootloader where we can test all controls and the LCD.
3. Then we install the firmware - ready to ship.

Based on the feedback we got and the one broken WiFi one, we changed that a bit.
Before we install the firmware, we do a WiFi test (it connects and downloads a small file).
As another user had the problem that his unit shutdown during first boot (flat battery) and then he couldn't login, we're also doing that first boot (which configures the system and takes a while) right here.
And we do that completely from the battery - so most faulty batteries should also be recognized.

So right now, that's what we do:

1. The boards including all the hardware are being tested in Texas after population.
2. During assembly, we test the controls and the LCD.
3. After screwing them together, we do the WiFi test and a different person tests the controls as well.
4. We install the firmware and do the complete first boot from battery.
5. After that, the unit is ready to ship.

This helps to make sure that no faulty unit should reach you. And if one slips through our hands (well, we can't possible charge all batteries for 6 hours to see if they work well), then we will replace it, that's for sure.

Some other questions have occured regarding the firmware, so I'm going to give newcomers some tips here:

1. Right now, WiFi is always enabled on Bootup. This eats some battery power - especially, if it keeps looking for networks and can't find any. So unless you want the unit to be always-on, you should probably disable it. That can easily be done: Go to Settings / Startup and disable WiFi on bootup. After you did that, you need to Toggle WiFi (that's in the system menu) before you use it.

2. It seems the Network Manager has a problem: When it disconnects, it can't reconnect. It seems that's also the case on standard Linux desktops. We'll look into this, however, if you lose connection at the moment, you need to reboot. You should only lose connection though if the WiFi signal is flaky - we ran some units for 48 hours as a test without a single reconnection.

3. When you use the nubs, they need to some time to calibrate. Usually, it automatically happens while using them, however, to make sure they work fine, slowly move them into each direction (Up, Down, Left, Right) and stay there for 1 or 2 seconds. Let them go back to the center each time before you move it into the next direction.

4. Just switched on your unit and right while booting the screen switches off? No worries, your unit is NOT broken. It's a feature that also turned into a bug: When you shutdown the unit, it saves the brightness value and applies that on startup, which is a good thing. However, if you shutdown the unit and close the lid, then the brightness value goes to 0 - and that's what the unit saves. So on next startup, it will switch off during booting process. That's not a big problem - just wait until it booted and use the brightness control on the keyboard to make it bright again. Another fix for a firmware update :)

5. Not firmware-related: But be sure to first CHARGE the unit before using it :)

That's it. So far, we got a lot of positive reports, which is pretty cool.
Funny thing is that some users bashed the Pandora - without even having one (well, we know where we ship the units to).
I have no idea why they do this, but we're sure: The more Pandoras are out there, the more positive posts will appear.

So, it's back to work for me, so that more units can find their way home :)
http://www.open-pandora.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=179%3Atales-from-the-hall&catid=2%3Ablog&Itemid=2&lang=en
 
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Loon

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Blog said:
...

3. When you use the nubs, they need to some time to calibrate. Usually, it automatically happens while using them, however, to make sure they work fine, slowly move them into each direction (Up, Down, Left, Right) and stay there for 1 or 2 seconds. Let them go back to the center each time before you move it into the next direction.

...
Take it that this is on first use only?
 
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Bosbeetle

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Funny thing is that some users bashed the Pandora - without even having one (well, we know where we ship the units to).
:p I think the colour black on the unit is just not quite right and its far to heavy :p and it makes squicky noises if you look at it longer than a minute with an evil stare.
 

Mjlink

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Think I've got #14. Video uploading to Youtube.

Will write a detailed review in the AM. Need sleep.

Peace & slumber,

Link

EDIt: IT's fucking Beautiful. Can't wait to play games although the geek porn was a fun first time for me :D
 

Loon

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neogramps said:
Take it that this is on first use only?
Nope, every time the unit is powered down the nub ram is cleared, but it is only a couple of seconds of twiddling yout thumbs to set it again.
Hmmm, no big deal I guess, but slightly odd.

Guess that it would be possible for some linux guru (i.e. not me) to find a way to save the calibration values to a file that was written to the nub ram on boot.

With that in mind, does anyone know the official way to request features / report bugs? Not that I'll be doing any of that before I get my hands on my Pandora.
 
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Caine

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Thanks for the update ED.

Great to hear you guys are so proactive in your response to defects and minor issues cropping up. I have to admit, you guys have claimed to go for quality all the time and now you're backing up your words. Thanks for this.

In case you were referring to me with the remark about the bashing of the Pandora, then I want to make some comments. I case you are not, then please ignore this post.

I did bash the keyboard layout. The topic cropped up and I chimed in. A unit is not needed to comment on this and I fully stand by what I said.

A total of three words were used in my post about the case ('poor case quality') which I did not support with facts. This was based on my perception from photos (some dents/discolorations in the top lid) and reviews on these boards.
I have said it before yesterday evening, and I'll repeat it here: I was wrong to make this statement without a unit. It was an emotional response after a frustrating and tiresome day and hearing/seeing some negative comments about the cases.

Why did I do this? Because I care. I have been following the development of this device for two years on a daily basis. It has been a long time since I was this excited about a device and my comments were in no way meant to bash the Pandora as a whole, but rather to criticize specific aspects. You guys are realizing a shared dream of ours and have my utmost respect and support for what you do. Keep up the good work guys.
 

Nuron_V

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+1 Respect to Caine

Its been a long journey and at this point I think we are all emotionally attached to it
 

aatu

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Alpha2

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The rest of the 3000 will likely hear something about by the time they get more shipped. They have 4000 total units to take care of and they haven't even gotten the first 400 out the door yet.
 

neko

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Blog said:
2. It seems the Network Manager has a problem: When it disconnects, it can't reconnect. It seems that's also the case on standard Linux desktops. We'll look into this, however, if you lose connection at the moment, you need to reboot. You should only lose connection though if the WiFi signal is flaky - we ran some units for 48 hours as a test without a single reconnection.
Yeah I have the same problem on my laptop. Just right click on the network manager icon, and uncheck "Enable Wireless". Then re-enable it again and it will work.
 
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Fzero

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This is all good for me to note. Does pandora OS have the little 'enable wireless' that your laptop does, or prob not and just do as ED said

The calibration I will only need do once a day when I boot it up of a morning, throughout day will be on standby or charge when not being rinsed with some nub action! ;)

I'm glad the initial boot is being done at the hall though, I can now get it straight on charge as advised

seeing/hearing of the 60 odd in the wilderness has me buzzing again and I'm still long up the queue

sterling work fellas
 

neko

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Fzero said:
This is all good for me to note. Does pandora OS have the little 'enable wireless' that your laptop does, or prob not and just do as ED said
If they're using the same network manager as ubuntu, then it does.
 
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Rathum

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Neko said:
Blog said:
2. It seems the Network Manager has a problem: When it disconnects, it can't reconnect. It seems that's also the case on standard Linux desktops. We'll look into this, however, if you lose connection at the moment, you need to reboot. You should only lose connection though if the WiFi signal is flaky - we ran some units for 48 hours as a test without a single reconnection.
Yeah I have the same problem on my laptop. Just right click on the network manager icon, and uncheck "Enable Wireless". Then re-enable it again and it will work.
It might not be the same problem. On my laptop, Network Manager just keeps spamming "Network - Disconnected: You are now offline" when I try to do something and refuses to reconnect without a hard boot after I get disconnected sometimes. It does this after a random amount of time after each boot. I have tried pretty much every suggested solution without any luck.

I used to have the bug where I had to disable wireless, though.
 
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